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As I See It

Hurry, don’t rush decisions on spending federal funding

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When there is a big job to tackle, it’s best to get a head start. That is why it is good that the city of La Crosse is beginning to make plans for how to spend millions of dollars from the federal government. The city has two years to allocate the nearly $22 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and another two years after that to spend it. But as Mayor Mitch Reynolds points out, that time will go by quickly, so he is urging the city begin discussions now how best to spend that money. The money can be used on things like public health, premium pay for essential workers and investments in sewer, water and broadband. The city has a page on its website where you can offer your opinions on how the money should best be spent. And the Mayor wisely wants the city council to have a say in allocation of the federal funding. But the city shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to make such big decisions. The council could vote on spending the ARPA funding as early as this week. The city would be wise to wait, and let more people weigh in, from community stakeholders to individual taxpayers. It is good to get a head start on these big decisions, but the decisions should not be made too quickly.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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